Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi called for countries that break UN Security Council resolutions to be held accountable, in a recorded address to the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.
"It is regrettable that the international community continues to turn a blind eye to the support of some countries to terrorists, whether with money and weapons, or by providing safe havens, media and political platforms, and even facilitating the movement of terrorist fighters to conflict areas, especially to Libya and Syria before it,” he said.
He added that "it is no longer acceptable" that Security Council resolutions remain unimplemented by some countries who think they will not be held accountable.
Speaking about Libya, El-Sisi stressed the importance of adhering to a political settlement path based on the UN-brokered Skhirat agreement, the conclusions of the Berlin conference, and the Cairo Declaration, to reach a comprehensive solution to end the crisis in the war-torn country.
He added that the crisis in Libya goes beyond the country’s borders and affects the security of neighbouring countries.
“Egypt is determined to support the Libyan brothers to rid their country of terrorist organisations and militias and to put an end to the flagrant interference of some regional parties that bring foreign fighters to Libya so as to realise the known ambitions and foregone colonial illusions,” he said.
El-Sisi reiterated that if the fighting in Libya continues and crosses the red line of Sirte or Al-Jufra, Egypt will confront it in defence of its national security and the safety of its people.
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam
El-Sisi called on the international community to help push for a deal on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which has been a source of contention between Egypt and Ethiopia for almost a decade.
"We've spent almost a decade in painstaking negotiations with our brothers in Sudan and Ethiopia, in an endeavour to reach an agreement regulating the filling and operation of the dam and strike the required balance between achieving the development requirements of the friendly Ethiopian people and safeguarding Egypt's water interests and ensuring its right to life,” he said.
El-Sisi recounted how several rounds of talks with Sudan and Ethiopia had reached a deadlock, although stating his appreciation for the help of the US, South Africa and Sudan.
"Those efforts unfortunately did not yield any desired results. The River Nile is not restricted to a party and its waters are considered a matter of survival for Egyptians without infringing our brothers’ rights,” he said, adding that Egypt went to the Security Council in June to address the issue.
The Egyptian president said he wants the international community to push all parties involved to work to a time frame to reach an agreement.
"However, the negotiation period should not be extended indefinitely, thus imposing the status quo, because our peoples yearn for stability and development and for a promising new era of cooperation,” he said.
El-Sisi also touched on the Palestinian cause, saying the Palestinian people yearn for the basic human rights of living in an independent state.
"Achieving this right has exhausted generations and exhausted many decisions to an extent that has become burdening the human conscience and there is no way to get rid of this burden and open a new horizon for peace, cooperation and co-existence except through establishing an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, so peace and security may prevail in the region," he said.
He also said that the international community must re-commit to achieving the long-awaited peace and must stand against the decisions and procedures that take land from the Palestinians that comprises the two-state solution and the basis of resettlement based on UN resolutions.
Syria and Yemen
Speaking about the situation in Syria, the president said that a comprehensive political solution has become a matter of urgency to end the war, calling for the implementation of “all elements of a political settlement in accordance with the Security Council resolution No. (2254) without abridgement or stalling to ensure the unity and territorial integrity of Syria and its institutions, meet the aspirations of its people, and completely eliminate terrorism.”
He also called for a solution to the conflict in Yemen, “by implementing the terms of reference for conflict settlement in accordance with Security Council resolution No. (2216), the Gulf initiative and the outcomes of the comprehensive national dialogue, in a manner that respects legitimacy, guarantees Yemen’s unity and independence."
He added that an end must be put to the exploitation of Yemeni territory to target neighbouring countries or to obstruct freedom of navigation in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.
El-Sisi also asked the international community to provide support to developing countries, especially in Africa, during the pandemic, by providing stimulus packages, easing debt burdens, and making use of the tools available to international financial institutions.
He also said it is important to expand the Security Council in both the permanent and non-permanent categories, to enhance its credibility and achieve a just and equitable representation of Africa which he said would rectify the historical injustice endured by the continent, and respond to its legitimate demands, as stipulated in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration.
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